Fortune Brands to spin off or sell Acushnet
Fortune Brands' board of directors agreed in principle on Tuesday to break up the company and sell or spin off its golf business, Acushnet, which includes Titleist and FootJoy, according to several media outlets.
The company has been the subject of speculation since William Ackman's hedge fund disclosed an 11% stake in the conglomerate. Ackman is an activist shareholder who supports the move by the board. "We think the long-term value of each of the three businesses will be materially higher if they are separate," he told The Wall Street Journal.
Acushnet's most likely suitors, according to the Journal, are private equity firms and Asian sporting goods and golf companies.
The Journal also reported that "the company intends to spin off its home and security unit to shareholders in a tax-free transaction." That would leave Fortune with its liquor business, which includes Jim Beam, Maker's Mark and Canadian Club.